5 last-minute stocking fillers for Christmas

19 Dec 2016

Image: J. Helgason/Shutterstock

As Christmas Day edges into view and the most materialistic holiday descends upon us, we’ve found five little stocking fillers to help satisfy the final shopping urges.

Most Christmas shopping should be done by now. Sure, the ham and turkey might be still to come, a couple of products ordered from abroad may be en route, but in general, time is almost up.

However, there are always a few gifts that just fall through the cracks, and people who only want to make a fleeting, thrifty trip to the shops are looking for something small.

Generally, we call these stocking fillers and today we bring five options to help you get through the final few days before Christmas with ease.

1. Password Keeper

At Siliconrepublic.com, we’re constantly reporting on cyberattacks across MNCs, SMEs and everything in between. As you’ve probably noticed, it’s rarely a genius hack with the best brains subtly finding their way through daunting cybersecurity networks. Instead, these attacks are often made up of two parts victim laziness and one part social engineering. Awful passwords, which take seconds to crack, used across multiple logins are the holy grail for cyber-criminals.

Christmas gifts

Image: Designist

The advice is simple: use long passwords with letters, symbols, various cases and numbers; and a different password for each login. That said, remembering a dozen such passwords can be a chore. The ideal way to maintain multiple passwords is getting a digital service to do it, but for something different, you could always get this password booklet from Designist. At €4, it’s as stocking filler as stocking filler could be.

2. DIY Solar System

Another simple idea, this is a nice little way to remember the make-up of our solar system. At the moment Cassini – one of NASA’s most successful space missions – is diving above and below Saturn’s rings, teeing itself up for a deep dive towards the giant planet’s surface.

Christmas gifts

Image: DIY Solar System

So 2017 will be all about our solar system’s largest planet, but the others are important too. A pretty DIY option for €7, this isn’t the worst idea ever.

3. Rubik’s Cube

An obvious choice and always a winner, the Rubik’s Cube remains one of the greatest games ever created. Priced around €10 in Argos, they appeal to everybody. Of course, if something this old-fashioned doesn’t float your boat, there’s always a souped-up version.

Rubik's Cube Christmas Gift

Rubik’s Cube. Image: ChristianChan/Shutterstock

4. Dinosaur 4D+

We actually featured this gift earlier in the month but, given its simplicity and low cost (around €10 in Dunnes Stores), we felt it could satisfy the last-minute shoppers, too. Customers simply buy a deck of Dinosaur 4D+ cards, download an app and let modern technology do the rest.

Christmas gifts

Image: Dinosaur 4D+

Hold your smartphone up to your favourite card and see a Triceratops come to life. Basic, but cool. There are other version of the cards, such as planets, animals and animal food – the latter of which engages with the former.

5. Essential Electronics Toolkit

This is a little of a random inclusion and, if you like the look of it, you need to act fast. Costing €20, the Essential Electronics Toolkit needs to be shipped in so, if you order it today, you might just get it delivered in time.

Christmas Gifts

Image: iFixit

It’s a clever collection of tools, with a magnetised driver handle, angled precision tweezers, 16 screwdriver bits and everything you need to get to work on your electronics. It’s from iFixit, the company that makes those expert disassembly videos of smartphones.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic